Lake Manyara National Park
Close to Tarangire, 130 km W of Arusha, Manyara offers 325 sq km of incredible beauty set in diverse terrain, which includes open grasslands, forests and the dominant red western rift escarpment that provides a stunning backdrop to the Lake itself. In Manyara can be found resident Baboons, also Elephants, Hippo and ‘PlainsGame’. This wonderland includes something unique – The tree climbing Lions. The lake wonderland includes something unique – The tree climbing Lions. The lake attracts migratory Flamingos and over 300 different species of birdlife.
Part of a far larger migratory ecosystem (that includes Lake Manyara) and dependant on the Tarangire River that flows through its centre, this National Park covers an area of 2,600 sq km and is about 120 km from Arusha.
Larger mammals vacate Tarangire in a mass exodus during the annual October from the Masai Mara.
Lake Manyara National Park has a wonderful mosaic of different habitats, which attracts a whole host of animals including a high density of elephants. Look out for monkeys, antelopes, zebras and hippos too. There are also lions and some have developed the unusual behaviour of climbing trees for their afternoon snooze. However, they have not mastered the art of dragging their kill high into the branches, as the leopard is so adept at doing.
Birdlife is fascinating at Lake Manyara and numbers are at their peak during the rainy season when seed-eaters, insect-eaters and waterbirds thrive. Nomadic quelea (finch-like birds), gather in breeding flocks of many thousands and fly across Lake Manyara National Park in vast twittering clouds. Pelicans, storks, geese, herons and cormorants share their waterworld with migrant flamingoes, who come and feed on the algae rich water and turn the crystalline edges of the soda lake a vibrant pink.
Waterfalls spill over the escarpment wall and fill rivers, some of which can be canoed down for a great safari adventure. In the south of the park hot springs bubble to the surface but are too hot for a dip.
The mixture of different habitats, animals and birdlife in Lake Manyara National Park, is unlike anything else you are likely to see. Another bonus is that Lake Manyara is only a 2-hour drive or half an hour light aircraft flight, west of Arusha – the gateway to the Northern Safari Circuit.
Lake Manyara National Park at the base of the River valley Escarpment is a small park, Lake Manyara National Park. Unlike the more Savanna dominated parks, its ground water forests give you superior change of the scenery.
It is good to watch wildlife all year long in Lake Manyara National Park but the best time is during the dry season which runs from late June to September.
In the high season, the northern section of the park is very crowded especially in the mornings for most of the year that is to say in July to March. April and May describes the low season.
The months of June to October usually have few rains hence with the best weather whereas the worst weather is expected in March and April which is the peak of the wet season. June to September offers the best time to go as it is easier to view animals then.
The Dry Season
This is experienced during the months of June to October .Animals gather around water sources with thin vegetation where they are easier to find. There are lots of sun with little rains and since mosquitoes are very few, there are slighter chances of contracting malaria.
It tends to get cold in the mornings and you are therefore advised to bring warm clothes for game drives in June through August.
The Wet season
Being a wet season, November to May gets the scenery green and abundant .Generally, the rates are lower since the place is usually less crowded during the low season in the months of April and May.
Even when the game is much easier to view during the dry season, Lake Manyara National Park still provides a good viewing of the wildlife throughout the year.
Many migratory birds are found during the wet season, hence making it the best time for bird watching.
Due to the rains, roads may become very hard to travel since March to May is the peak of the wet season.
It is very easy to access Lake Manyara National Park .It is just about 1 and a half hours drive from Arusha. Some of the northern parts of the park usually get very busy especially during the afternoons. You are advised to stay within the park or spend a few nights nearby so as to enter the park very early for a full day safari.
All through the year, it is very easy to access this park, but it is usually best during the dry season, in the months of July to October which is the best for large mammals, where as the best time for birds is the wet season, between November to June.
From Arusha a road safari takes you about 1 to 2 hours to get to the entrance gate. The whole of the access road is surfaced while the inner roads may require you to use a good 4 wheel drive and a very good clearance. You may use the arranged charter flights or the bus especially while going to the gateway of Mto Wa Mbu village.
Contact us to visit this park.